For the invitation I found some instructions online for an origami cat so I made some origami cats out of some colored paper we had on hand. I put the details for the party in the body of the cat. I have to admit I didn't use origami paper which is different colors on each side so my cat didn't turn out near as cute as the one pictured online. In fact mine were so ugly that I had to explain to everyone what they were. ...Oh well, that's how art projects usually go for me so no big surprise.
I decided we would have a small snack table with things that cats love and than cake and ice cream. I made some cute little strawberry mice, and I got down an old gold fish bowl and filled it with gold fish because cats and every little kid loves gold fish. I also made some jello jigglers and cut some of them in the shape of a fish skeletons.
For the decorations I decided to build on the cat theme and assign each child a color and famous cat for our games. There were actually a lot of cats to choose from here are the ones I chose to use: Mittens from disney's Bolt; Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland; Jerry from Tom and Jerry; Sylvester, Felix the cat, Hello Kitty, the Cat in the Hat, and Garfield. I have no artistic abilities so I went online and printed out a bunch of famous cats, then I cut them up and got them all to fit on about three sheets of paper. I went to kinkos and copied them onto transparencies and then spent some time at the church using the overhead projector and some butcher paper to trace the cats,and used markers and paints at home to color and paint the famous cats.
For our first game I bought some yarn from the craft store for a dollar a piece in every color. I unrolled the yarn all over the house and the idea was for the kids to follow their own color until it ended at a black paper bag and some mini M&Ms. This game went ok, the only problem was that I probably unrolled a little to much yarn, and with our limited space some of the yarn had overlapped and so when the kids tried to follow it they got all tangled up. I think the game would have gone a lot better if the yarn pieces had been smaller and I had tried to keep them all in seperate areas so they did not overlap and get tangled, but it still worked out ok and all the kids were excited to find their little treasure at the end.
I had them bring their little black sacks back to the little birthday table, and we made these little cat bags for them to use for the "mouse hunt". Actually the bags would not only be for the mouse hunt, but they were also their little gift bags to take home at the end of the day. I cut out the eyes, nose, and ear triangles ahead of time so that we just had to help the kids cut the top of their bags and then they could just glue the face on their bags and be done. So simple.
For the next game, we had a mouse hunt. I used s bunch of old easter eggs that my mom had on hand and picked out five of each color and made them into little mice. Each child would have the chance to find five mice the same color as the yarn they chased earlier. I used some of the yarn for tails, and cut the ears from some old felt scraps and had the little eyes left over from a preschool project earlier this year, so no cost... just time. I then stuffed each mouse with some candy. We hid the mice outside and even though it was a little cold the kids still had a good time finding them.
The kids than came in and took a few minutes to take stock of their hunting spoils and have some snacks from the snack table. we broke the homemade pinata that the kids made at preschool a few weeks ago when I taught about Mexico. All I did was keep the pinata they started add a few layers of papermache and than decorate it with crate paper, felt eyes, ears and nose and pipe cleaner whiskers.
For the cake I just used two rounds and found a pattern for making a cat online. I then handed it off to my sister-in-law Shanda to frost because she does it so much better than I do. It was so cute and Aly loved it.We had cake and ice cream and I let the kids lick their ice cream out of their bowl like little kitties if they wanted to. I have to admit I was grateful that most of them chose to use a spoon so we did not have too many sticky faces.Then it was time for Aly to open her gifts and let the kids have some time to just play together before parents came. Overall it was a lot of fun and Aly was completely satisfied with her birthday party except she kept asking where are the foxes?
To celebrate with Foote's family it has become tradition to go swimming and then go back to Grandma's house for pizza, cake and ice cream. Aly is a little fish and loves to swim. This year she even braved the diving board and jumped off a few times. To celebrate with my family my mom put together a special red dinner for Aly since red is her favorite color. Aly was so excited to have her cousins come and celebrate with her.